Can a Christian be an atheist?

atheism-2-black-on-whiteTo follow up on my last post, Can a Hindu be an atheist?, I’m going to
explore the idea of whether an atheist can also be a Christian. It seems Greta Vosper feels its possible.

To Quote Greta:

“God is a metaphor for goodness and love lived out with compassion and justice, no more and no less.” – Greta Vosper

To me, it seems that Great is essentially a new voice in Christianity, offering up a new school of Christian thought, similar to how people in Hinduism would take past philosophies and beliefs and alter them according to what they see as being true and create whole new schools of thought. Greta, and Christian atheists like her, are the first steps in making Christianity more of a Philosophy than a Religion.

I know a lot of people would argue she can’t be a Christian without believing in Jesus, God, and Heaven. What does it mean to believe in those things? Do you need to believe they are literal “things” or is believing in them as metaphors for other philosophical and ethical ideas enough?

I’m going to say this nice and clear, I’m on Greta’s side on this one. In fact, I think it might just prove to be the be the best way to move Christianity away from its Bronze & Iron age origins and towards fully accepting modern Secular values. Her congregation seems to have accepted her atheism and I’ll guess she has more than a few atheists within that congregation.To be honest, if I lived in Toronto, I’d probably consider checking out Westhill United Church myself. Having a community of kind, loving, tolerant and supportive people hang out with is very appealing.

“Let’s start a conversation about just and compassionate living. I believe people can support each other with love and wisdom in a church with or without the god called God.”
– Greta Vosper

Are there any other types of Christian atheists? I have met some that identify culturally as Christian, almost like they Christianity as an ethnicity like “Jew” is both an Ethnicity and a religion.

I have also met some that just simply like the teachings of Christ. They openly and admittedly pick the parts they like and ignore the rest, especially the supernatural parts.

Last, I’ll point you to the Wikipedia page on Christian Atheism and let you do some further reading as there is no point in me repeating whats found there. The crux of it is that Christian Atheism is definitely a “thing” in our world, and to deny they aren’t Christian or atheist is risking a No True Scotsman Fallacy.

Considering there are already over 44,000 Christian denominations, many with wildly different or even diametrically oppositional beliefs, surely there is enough room among them for an atheist denomination.

Until next time, keep drinking the Kool-aid.


1 thought on “Can a Christian be an atheist?

  1. Wil C. Fry

    As a former Christian and current atheist, it’s definitely tempting to go the No True Scotsman route with this one. “You can’t really be a Christian if…” If what? It’s not like a Lodge or Fraternity, that gets to choose its own members. There isn’t just one club called “Christianity” that gets to define its members. Someone’s a Christian if they say they are (same with Islam, I suppose, despite Obama’s assurances that ISIL isn’t Muslim).

    On the other hand, there is a very, very well-accepted cultural understanding of “Christian”, and that definition almost always includes “believing in God, and especially Jesus”. Yes, cultural understandings can change over time, and this one might too, but I think it’s fair to acknowledge that *currently*, the world understands “Christian” to mean a certain thing.

    Liked by 1 person


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